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The First Sentence

It's the blank page that always gets me....I love it - its feel, its look, its endless possibilities - at the same time that I am terrified of it.  I never have any idea where to begin, so I don't.  For months, I put off writing anything rather than admitting to the possibility of writing something I'm not proud of.

With articles, I always start from the second paragraph, coming back at the end to write my lead.  I know the first two sentences are probably the easiest, but for me they hold the most potential for failure.
With blogging, I write a hundred beginnings, hardly settling on one even in the last seconds before hitting that orange "publish" button at the top of my screen.  Maybe I'm just indecisive, and maybe that's why this screen has stayed blank for so many months now.

Now, with the last few months of my life as a student looming out ahead of me like the proverbial 11th hour, I have no idea where to begin.  I can't seem to write that first sentence, that first paragraph of the rest of my life.  At the same moment that all the blank pages in front of me excite and encourage me - I could still do anything I want, just like my parents always told me - I am terrified almost to the point of inaction.  I have applied to hundreds of jobs, only to hear back from so few that an e-mail has me smiling for hours.  But as much as I want to go - to find myself at a desk, writing something that matters and wearing a blazer - I also want to stay here, in the town I've spent four years getting to know so well that it feels like home.

I've always wanted to move on.  Pennsylvania, the towns I've lived in here, have somehow never satisfied me for long.  After just a few years, I'm always ready to start over.  But that first day in a new town, new home, new always catches in my throat, threatening to hold me back.

The first sentence always catches me.